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Surfing Economics: understanding the value of surfing to Australian economy and society

Surfing is among the top-five nature-based activities in Australia, and the second most practiced water-based sport, only after swimming. Current participation is 3.3% of the adult population, up from 2.1% in 2018. Surfing has been found to attract faster economic growth, as well as greater labour movement and investment into regional areas. Further, surfing is understood to be a major factor contributing to physical and mental health, which translates into greater personal and societal wellbeing for surfers and their communities. This research aims to understand surfing's impacts on participants' wellbeing and quantify surf-driven expenditure as a measure of input into the economy. This information may inform policies, such as the definition of surfing reserves, which can contribute to greater environmental preservation and protection of surfing breaks. By gathering information on the importance of surfing, it will be possible to better communicate with governments and decision-makers about issues affecting surfers across Australia. The survey is available to people who have lived and surfed (at least once) in Australia over the past 12 months. Link here

Project Owner: Australian National University
Year commenced: 2023
Anticipated completion: 2024
Status: Active
Project ID: ID-230404-9991


Title: What is the value of a wave? How changes to our coastline could wipe out surfing’s benefits
Type Media release
Access/Audience: Open
Date: January 2022

Project owner

Contact Name: Ana Manero
Contact Information:
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